Sydney, Australia, has been the home of the Museum of Human Disease since 1959.

The museum’s aim is to let visitors make decisions about their lifestyle by showing them the impact different diseases and lifestyles can have on human tissue. There are more than 2,500 specimens in the museum collection, showing how diseases rare to Australia, such as typhoid and diphtheria can affect the body. It also demonstrates what smoking, obesity and drug-taking can do to people.

Although it sounds like heavy stuff, the museum welcomes thousands of high school students on educational tours each year. During the first lockdown in the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, items in the collection were made available to view online. Museum director Derek Williamson said at the time: “It’s so important to understand how diseases work – especially during a pandemic.

“By learning more about past outbreaks and how they affect the body, we can also learn why some diseases are coming back.”

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